A successful product launch creates a buzz around your latest offering and drives sales, leading to happy customers and an even better reputation for your business. However, successful launches don’t just happen; they are the result of a well thought out strategy and meticulous planning. With that in mind, let’s go through the six-step process you need to ensure a successful launch for your latest offering.
Step 1 – Market Research
In order to sell anything successfully, you need to be super clear on exactly who you’re selling to – and why. Consider:
- Why do your audience need your product or service?
- What pain does your offer relieve?
- How will your new product or service improve your customers’ lives?
- What will the wider impact of this be?
This will help you create a value proposition; i.e. what your customers will receive in exchange for their money.
It’s also important to scope out the competition and examine businesses offering the same product or service, or something very similar. What have they done well, and where can they improve? What makes your offering better than theirs?
You also need to do some financial research and find out how much you will need to invest up front. It’s important to take risk factors into consideration, too.
Step 2 – Create a Timeline
There are many stages businesses must go through in order to launch a successful product or service, including testing, marketing, and pricing, so it’s important to create a timeline to give you a rough idea of when this should all be completed. Otherwise, you will be ambling vaguely towards a launch rather than working purposefully towards your goal. A timeline will also allow you to benchmark your progress and know whether you need to speed things up or perhaps delay the launch date if necessary.
Your timeline will allow you to take action at the right time, too. Gaining attention is an important part of your launch, so it’s important to build relationships with industry influencers and establish a strong social media audience well before you start teasing your product.
Step 3 – Find the Right Influencers
Speaking of influencers, partnering with the right creators within your niche is a very important step in ensuring a successful product or service launch. Research by the Digital Marketing Institute found that 49% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations, so this is an important step to generating awareness and building trust in your product or service.
Many businesses make the mistake of simply looking at an influencer’s follower count or demographic, but it’s more important to make sure that they have an engaged audience who values their opinions and welcomes their recommendations. It’s also important to partner with someone who shares your brand values.
Step 4 – Soft Launch
You may want to consider a soft launch ahead of time to gain feedback that will allow you to make any final adjustments. You can quietly offer the new product or service to customers for free or at a heavily discounted rate in exchange for their feedback. Research by Esteban Kolsky, the founder of customer strategy think-tank ThinkJar, only 4% of unhappy customers will actually complain to you, but 13% will express their discontent with 15 or more people. Therefore, it’s important to identify sources of customer dissatisfaction and fix them before your product or service officially goes to market.
Step 5 – Build Hype
You need to get a buzz going around your new product or service to get your prospective customers excited for its arrival. Ideas to do this include:
- Asking your audience to guess what your latest offering is going to be and providing fun clues online
- Creating blogs and videos around the problem that your new product or service solves
- Hosting a social media contest to encourage your audience to share your posts and give them a chance to be the first to try your new offering
- Collaborating with industry influencers and having them post reviews ahead of the launch
- Creating a countdown timer on your website
Step 6 – Feed the Fire
Your job is not over once launch day has been and gone. In order to maximise sales, you need to keep the fire going and prolong the buzz around your amazing new product or service. Encourage happy customers to create user generated content by writing reviews or sharing photos of themselves enjoying your new offering.
They say that first impressions count, and a successful launch will help ensure that your product or service enjoys longevity in the marketplace. The launch is a great opportunity to create a great reputation around your product and strengthen your brand’s overall reputation. The more excited you can get your current and prospective customers about your latest product or service, the more sales you will make..